Thursday 17 September 2020

Tabletop World Townhouse

For a couple of years now, I have been aware of Tabletop World, a producer a highly-detailed, fantasy wargaming buildings. From what I could tell, they were the best resin pieces on the market. However, I was always put-off by the high-cost of shipping to the UK. Well, now there are a couple of places to get them in the UK, notably Zealot Miniatures and Element Games, so I decided it was high time to see if they were as good as they looked. So, I ordered Townhouse I.

When I first pulled it out of the box, and viewed it in its yellow resin, I must admit, I wasn't hugely impressed. It was nice, but didn't look special. Then I started to paint it...

This piece was an absolute dream to paint. All of the detail is sharp and heavy. And what detail. If you look closely, you can see a lot of the nails in the roof tiles and support beams - not that I bothered to paint them. I mainly just dry-brushed and washed, and the results were fantastic.

It also has a detailed interior, which I didn't paint, because I find doing so awkward and not much fun, and I never end up using the interior anyway.

Really, I can't praise it enough. I like it so much that I immediately ordered another cottage to go with it! 

The only point I'm not sure about is the height. The miniature it is pictured with is on the smaller side of 28mm, and it looks a fine. Bigger figures look a bit tall. This is mainly because of the GW bases I mount most of my figures on, so I might need to put a piece of wood or something on the bottom of the house to give it a bit more height. (Or maybe not, it's not that big a deal.) 

If you want top notch fantasy buildings, these are them.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Drakar and Darts

I am continuing work on my Silent Death project. Up to now, I have been mostly painting ships at random, but I have decided that I will focus my goal on collecting the fighters that were released for the first edition of the game*. So, the fighters presented in the original rulebook, and the two expansions Overkill and Black Guard**. This includes a total of 24 different fighters and gunships, which seems like more than enough to get started on, especially since I'm painting up two sides. I'm going to knock up a spreadsheet to see exactly how many of each I want. 

This week, the red team gained some new forces, a pair of Drakar gunships and two Dart light fighters. The Drakars are metal, while the Darts are plastic. The difference in quality is noticeable, but not so much that it is likely to bother me on the table. 

I really enjoy painting these fighters as breaks between other projects, because they are quick and easy. 

* The physical appearance of many of the fighters changed between 1st and 2nd edition (which is actually the biggest difference in the editions). I'm just using whichever design I like better or happen to have.

** The first edition of Silent Death also saw the release of the Night Brood box set, which introduced alien 'bug' ships. I have this box, and would like to add those forces someday, but it is beyond the scope of my project at the moment. 

Tuesday 1 September 2020

The Ruins of St. Mary’s Church, Eastwell

In an effort to get out and enjoy the last few days of summer, my family went searching for the mostly-forgotten church of St. Mary’s, Eastwell, that we saw mentioned in a book. Despite all of our modern technology, we did manage to get briefly lost and accidentally drove onto private property. However, a kindly security guard set us on the right road.

The road was long, narrow, overgrown, and didn’t seem to go anywhere, until it ended at a small gravel lot, right next to the ruins of the church. It’s an enchanting place. Only one side of the church actually remains, consisting of the main tower, a small chapel, and the wall between. A few other fragments of wall are scattered about. Of these, the largest chunk contains a stone plaque, marking it as the supposed resting place of Richard ‘Plantagenet’. According to legend, this shadowy figure was the illegitimate son of Richard III, who went into hiding after his father’s death (probably a good call).

The ruins are bordered, and often overshadowed, by numerous ancient yew trees, and the site sits right next to a lake, populated by a large flock of extremely noisy ducks. There are a few graves scattered around the place, mostly broken and completely overgrown.

The site is owned and maintained by The Friends of Friendless Churches, an intriguing charity.

The whole place definitely feels like the setting for a fairy-tale or Arthurian romance.

We had a lovely time exploring, playing hide & seek, and eating our lunch. From the church, we were able to join the ‘Pilgrims' Way’, the path that runs from Winchester to Canterbury, and briefly walk along that ancient trail.

It’s always a good day out when you can explore some medieval ruins!